Disclaimer: Crime Scene Investigation and its characters are property of CBS and Alliance/Atlantis Networks, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. I'm writing this story for entertainment purpose only. No copyright infringement is intended.

Author's note: I wrote this story awhile ago, being in the Christmas spirit. I know it's a little late now (or a little early!), so get in the mood and enjoy!

Special thanks to Devanie for reading this story and reassuring me that it makes sense. This one is for you! :-) And of course for all the other Sara/Grissom shippers out there! I hope you will like it!

English is not my native/first language. If you find an annoying writing error in this story, please email me (instead of mentioning it in a review) and I will correct it immediately. Thanks!

Christmas Eve

By Karin

"Next on the agenda: Christmas Eve."

Grissom's words were received with a loud rebellious moaning by the rest of the CSI team.

Catherine reluctantly laid down the magazine she was reading. She sighed. "Gil, do we have to do this now? We've been working for two days; we need this break."

"Yeah, what do you mean spoiling the mood?" Warrick agreed, shaking his head. "Man, how long till Christmas? A month? Five weeks? A lifetime."

Grissom took off his glasses. "Do you want to take over?" was all he said.

Warrick looked horrified at the idea. "Okay, okay," he gave in. "You're right. Let's get it over with."

Grissom nodded. "Alright then. I have no objection to working on Christmas Eve."

Nobody looked surprised. Grissom always worked on Christmas Eve. He did so every year, and this one was no exception. But that didn't mean that the others were just as obsessive as he was.

"I'd like to spend Christmas Eve with Lindsey," Catherine said calmly. "I already miss so much of her life. I'd like to be there for her especially with the holidays."

Everyone fell silent. They knew that no matter how much Catherine loved her work, she could never fully enjoy it because of the little girl at home who needed her mother's attention just as much as their victims did. Catherine would never complain though and she wasn't complaining now. It was just a statement. She had made a choice and now she had to deal with the consequences. On some occasions it was just harder than normal.

"Well, that's fine with me," Grissom said, eyeing the others. No one objected. They all wanted Catherine to have a wonderful Christmas with her daughter, but that didn't solve the problem. "With Catherine off there still has to be at least one to work that night."

Warrick raised his hands. "Hey, I have plans with family."

"I'm going to a party with Susan," Nick quickly added.

"Susan?" Catherine asked surprised. "Who is she?"

"My girlfriend."

"Your girlfriend? Since when?" Warrick mocked. "Last week you didn't even have one."

"I met her Thursday. She invited me to a party and…" Nick stopped, then looked indignantly from Catherine to Warrick. "Hey, I had to work last Thanksgiving, since no one else had turned his beeper on."

Catherine and Warrick grinned sheepishly. They knew how pissed off Nick had been about working on Thanksgiving Day. He had to leave his party to assist Grissom on a supposedly suicide, that proved to be a suicide after all. After ten hours that is to say. It took him that long to convince Grissom that there was nothing that led to believe the man had been murdered. At that moment he could have committed a murder of his own.

"That's no neglect, that's smart," Warrick rounded. "While you were chasing an imaginary killer, I was chasing some incredibly good-looking women with tequilas in both hands."

"Sounds good, Warrick." Catherine smiled mischievously. "Could you give me the address?"

As they burst into laughter Grissom heaved a deep sigh, rubbing his face wearily. He loved his job, but he could do without the bureaucratic part of it. He hated the paperwork and he hated to be answerable to the mayor and the sheriff. It just wasn't him. As long as he could collect insects from decayed bodies or put body parts together he was pleased.

"Well, if no one volunteers we have no choice but to draw straws. I will…"

"I'll work."

All heads turned towards Sara. Her face was blank.

"You?" Catherine's eyes narrowed. "Why? Don't you have any plans?"

"No hot date, Sara?" Nick teased.

Warrick laughed. "Yeah, we were sure a young, pretty girl like you wouldn't be alone on Christmas Eve."

"I did have plans." Sara could not hide a trace of annoyance in her voice. It was as if she was really saying: 'Why don't you mind your own business and leave me alone?'

"But not anymore?"

Sara frowned. "No," she explained impatiently. "Going with a friend, called yesterday, mother had a light stroke, have to go to her, celebrate Christmas at home. In short: I will work."

"Oh, that's too bad," Catherine said with sincere sympathy.

Sara shrugged. "Well, one's loss is the other's gain."

Relieved that they didn't have to draw straws and that they were off the hook, the others immediately skipped the subject, changing it into a discussion about Christmas parties and presents.

And so no one paid attention to the bitter undertone in her voice. No one, except for Grissom. Something in her pose had given away that there was more going on than that lame story about her friend. Actually, he was surprised to hear her talk about friends at all. He didn't know she had any.

With his experience as investigator he knew something wasn't quite right. But since he wasn't the man to ask, and Sara wasn't the woman to share, he just had to wait and see how the night would go by.

He had no idea that it would turn out not quite the way he had expected…

To Be Continued…

I hope you liked this part. I know it's a little short; the real story starts with part two. Please let me know what you think of it so far and if you would like to read the second chapter. Thank you!
- Karin -